Sunday, December 19, 2010


after our 28 hour train ride we finally made it to guilin. a man from the hostel came to pick us up at the train station. hailee had made the arrangements and was in contact with him so he was standing outside the station with a sign that said her name…kind of. a common mispronunciation here in china is getting the l and r mixed up in words. this sweet man was holding a sign that said “hairee” instead of hailee. we all loved it. apparently the hostel was booked on a sketchy site and this man had never heard of it. we got a crazy good deal but he didn’t have a reservation down for us and the price that we thought we would pay for four days was in reality only the price for two nights. the hostel was also booked after that first night because it was national holiday…basically it was all a big mess. he worked with us though and allowed us to pay the original price that we thought it’d be and he’d help find us a place to stay the other three nights.

after a good night’s rest we got up and started our day with a boat tour down the li river that went to yangshuo. the scenery along the way was amazing. the mountains are nicknamed as dr. seuss mountains. the were so beautiful! we didn’t have a tour guide for this boat ride so we found an old map on a seat and tried to follow along. our driver would occasionally tap my shoulder and point to the next famous mountain on the map and then to the actual mountain. i was so glad we found that map because i was able to appreciate what i was seeing and actually learn about the history behind it all. 

we were on this little raft (you can hardly call it a boat) and when we were taking pictures at the front of it the tip started to sink and we let a bunch of water onto the raft. michelle’s shoes got soaked and i felt so bad. if there’s one thing i hate it’s having wet feet inside socks and shoes that cause your toes to get all pruney after even a few minutes. halfway through the ride we spotted some neon orange life jackets hanging up so we asked to put them on for a picture. after we took the picture they wouldn’t let us take them off. they were so ugly and huge. shortly after we were forced to keep the life jackets on the driver met up with another driver and her raft and they tied them together and made half of us get on the second raft. i guess they weren’t used to fitting that many people on one raft. oops!

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